Vote for the dirtiest opponent of clean energy this year
From Deepwater Oil to Upper Big Branch, 2010 has been a year of environmental disasters. But the big oil and coal companies aren't backing down. Shadowy front groups funded by fossil fuel companies and their allies are spending tens of millions of dollars to flood the airwaves with advertising to mislead the public about our overreliance on fossil fuels.
Now is your chance to tell us who was the dirtiest opponent of clean energy this year. Cast your vote below to help hold polluters and their front groups accountable.
The Truth about API:
- API spent $66 million on ads in 2009 and 2010. [Kantar Media CMAG, accessed 10/20/10]
- API spent more than $14 million lobbying in the 111th Congress.
- API launched a "major lobbying campaign" aimed at opposing tax changes on oil companies and tougher drilling regulations.
- API was a member of the Global Climate Coalition, which "led an aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign" against climate science for more than a decade.
Who pays API dues?
Oil and gas companies like ExxonMobil, Enbridge, TransCanada and BP America, among others.
The Facts about the Koch Brothers and Koch Industries
- Koch Industries is one of the top ten toxic air polluters in the U.S.
- Koch is responsible for over 300 oil spills in the U.S. and has leaked 3 million gallons of crude oil into fisheries and drinking waters.
- Koch admitted to stealing $31 million worth of crude oil from Indian reservations.
- Koch Industries was found by a jury to be guilty of negligence and malice in the deaths of two Texas teenagers in an explosion that resulted from a leaky underground butane pipeline. The plaintiff was awarded almost $300 million for the wrongful death.
- Koch Industries spent more than $48.5 million from 1997 to 2008 funding climate science opposition groups.
Massey Energy by the Numbers:
1,342: Safety violations Massey received at the Upper Big Branch Mine alone since 2005.
$129.2 Million: The amount since 1999 Massey Coal's CEO Don Blankenship has received in salary, bonuses, and perks.
$1,609,593: The amount Massey spent on ads in 2009 and 2010 (Kantar Media CMAG, accessed 10/12/10).
Facts about Massey CEO Don Blankenship:
- In response to Massey's record of safety violations, Blankenship responded: "Violations are unfortunately a normal part of the mining process."
- Blankenship has called members of Congress seeking climate change legislation "greeniacs" and "all crazy."
- He called deadly mining accidents "statistically insignificant."
BP By the Numbers:
1: Shut-off switch that could have prevented the oil spill from happening if BP had purchased it.
225,000: Amount BP avoided paying each day for rent on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig, using a tax break.
Quotation from former BP CEO Tony Hayward after the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico: "I would like my life back."
Learn About the Nominees
Koch Industries is America’s second-biggest private company, with estimated annual revenues of $100 billion. Koch owns refineries from Alaska to Texas and a large number of subsidiaries that make things like Brawny paper towels and Dixie Cups.
American Petroleum Institute (API)
The American Petroleum Institute, or API as it is commonly called, is the main U.S. trade association for the oil and natural gas industry. API funds advertising and promotes government policies that many oil and gas companies support, even if the companies are embarrassed to associate themselves by name.
This spring, a coal mine explosion killed 29 people in a West Virginia mine owned and operated by Massey Energy, in the worst coal mine disaster since 1970. The mine where the disaster occurred, Upper Big Branch, had received more than 1,300 safety violations since 2005.
BP needs no introduction. Headquartered in London, its American division was responsible for the largest accidental oil spill the world has ever known. Between April and September 2010, this oil and gas conglomerate spent more than $123 million on advertising in response to plummeting public opinion. [Kantar Media CMAG, accessed 10/20/10]. On top of that, BP has spent more than $23.5 million lobbying Congress over the past two years.
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